Goal Achieved: Living With Chickens

For those who do not know me well, allow me to start with this: I have a list. This list is full of all the goals, large and small, that I want to achieve. Some are things like learning martial arts, or playing blues harp, or riding my motorcycle on a long road trip. Some are things like raise chickens, live off my own garden and make the world a better place – you just never know what’s going to be on the list. The idea is this: when something gets to the top of the list, you do it (or you put significant effort into figuring it out). Today we can mark “raise chickens” off the list.

Last month, on July 4th, we brought home our four little ladies (ages 10-16 weeks). Their names (from left to right): Cluck Norris (a cinnamon queen), Chicken Tetrazzini (a Salmon Faverolle), Nugget (a Welsummer) and Hen-rietta (an Americauna). Having had them a month, I can officially say they are growing to be a big part of our family. They are very low maintenance and will start producing eggs in about 8 weeks.

A few details for those of you who are interested (this is the significant effort part):

Above: Our chicken coop at about 90% complete.

Amy and I are proud to be among the few city dwellers in Nashville to have our permit and be raising chickens near downtown. Soon we will be getting upwards of 4 eggs per day to go along with the fresh veggies from the garden. It’s been fun to have friends and family over to teach them about our chickens, and raising chickens in general. Im sure this is just the first part of our chicken story, but… another list item, completed!

11 Seconds of Glory – 22 Hour Time Lapse of Seeds Growing

Just because I think this video is super sweet, I am posting it here to my blog. This is a time lapse I started last night and it ran until tonight for about a total of 22 hours. It snapped a photo every 5 minutes and then created the video. I would love to do a lot more, but not sure I have the equipment to do it for a full growing season. In any case, enjoy this time lapse of a handful of green bean seeds growing for 22 hours, compressed to 11 seconds :)

The McIntyre Square Foot Garden Begins

Amy and I decided that if we were going to be back in Tennessee we would do one of the things we have always wanted to do… and that is grow a garden! We strive as best as possible to eat healthy (and organic when possible and applicable) and growing our own food and using our own compost bin seemed like the next logical step. So here we are. Embedded below is a slideshow of pictures form our garden. We are growing everything from seeds (with the exceptions of strawberries which we bought roots and blackberries which we bought a 6″ plant).

I will post more photos as we go, but this is pretty fun so far :) We created a square foot garden that is 8 feet wide, 4 feet long and 1 foot deep (separated into 32 squares). We will be planting something different in all of the different square feet (hence the name).

For those of you who are interested in some of the details, here you go:

  1. We made our own soil using peat moss, vermiculite and 3 kinds of compost (commonly referred to as Mels Mix)
  2. We created our own gardening plan and will have a mix of around 25 fruits and veggies and 5-10 flowering plants and herbs rotated through out the growing seasons
  3. We will also be using my dads Topsy Turvy Upside Down tomato growers to grow tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, hot peppers and green peppers (you should buy these!)
  4. You can see all the photos as we go in our Square Foot Gardening Photo Set

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